How Do You Create The World’s Biggest Thor Hammer? Wellington Experts Reveal All
How do you make the world’s biggest Mjölnir? Frame by frame study of Thor: Love and Thunder, a hidden counterweight and Kiwi no.8 wire innovation are crucial, according to the Wellingtonians behind the giant Thor Hammer that’s landed on the city’s waterfront to celebrate Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition.
The Thor Hammer at Night. Credit: Wellington NZ
Wellington’s Mjölnir stands more than six metres high and three and a half metres long and is the world’s biggest Thor Hammer. Brought to life from concept by Scale Studios and Silk Design, the ‘shattered’ Mjölnir is a nod to the hammer wielded by Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder, which is on display nearby at Tākina’s Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition, along with Portman’s costume and the infamous rainbow bridge to Asgard. Wellington’s larger-than-life hammer glows from within, shining a blue light across the waterfront at night.
Scale Studios’ is a practical effects studio whose team is well-known for its work on film blockbusters. Award-winning founder and Creative Director Joaquin Loyzaga says the Thor Hammer is the largest single finished object Scale has built to date, and they spent hours poring over Thor: Love and Thunder to ensure they got all the details on the hammer right.
“As this is the shattered Mjölnir from the most recent Thor film, we worked hard to recreate the pieces and place them in exactly the same shape and position as they appear in the films,” he says.
The hammer’s placement on the waterfront also posed some engineering challenges.
“As the handle hangs in mid-air at a 30-degree angle, we had to consider its weight, which is constantly fighting against the rest of the structure. To counteract these forces, we created an engineer-designed internal steel structure based around a giant hidden counterweight to oppose the hanging weight of the handle. The end result looks as though Thor had placed it himself,” he says.
Loyzaga says there were also challenges in considering Wellington’s wind and safely transporting the massive Hammer through the city to be installed on the waterfront.
Silk Design, a local event design and production company, worked alongside Scale Studios to bring the world’s biggest Thor Hammer concept to life. Lexi Boddy, Creative Director, says projects of this nature take the input of a large group of extremely skilled craftspeople and businesses.
“Wellington had no shortage of experience in these areas - from site visits to scaled location plans, 3D models, fabrication, engineering, building consent applications, transport and installation, we were able to make this happen relatively quickly,” she says.
WellingtonNZ’s Destination, Marketing and Communications General Manager Todd Barberel says Wellington’s Thor Hammer is a fantastic example of what the city’s creative sector is capable of.
“We know Wellington is home to a hub of incredibly talented creative people who live here because there are so many opportunities to showcase their artistic flair. The Hammer is a great example of this, bringing people together to do what the industry does best.”
Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition is ‘dazzling and delighting’ audiences as it dives into Marvel’s impact on pop culture ahead of its 85th anniversary later this month.
Open until 28 April 2024, it features some of Marvel’s earliest comic art - including the very first sketches of super villain Thanos - Oscar-winning costumes from Black Panther, and an Iron Man suit from the movies, giving people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a close up look at the characters that have shaped movies and comics for more than eight decades.
Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition is in Wellington for a limited season, running until 28 April 2024. Tickets start from $17.50 for children, $29.50 for concessions and $34.50 for adults and can be purchased from Ticketmaster.